Steph Beckett

Google Fiber Moving Forward with Installation in Chapel Hill

Google has announced that its project, Google Fiber, will not be accepting any more new cities for its Internet network. The project was created to go up against cable and other Internet providers as a much faster option. But the process has proven to be too expensive. According to Bloomberg, nine percent of the staff is being let go, and Project Chief Craig Barratt is stepping down. There are already eight metropolitan areas with Google Fiber as an option, the Triangle being one of them. Google began installing Fiber in Chapel Hill earlier this year, but residents expressed concern...

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Missing: Pumpkins, Inflatables Stolen in Chapel Hill

There have been multiple reports in the past 24 hours to the Chapel Hill Police Department that pumpkins, inflatables and other Halloween decor have been stolen from yards. @ChapelHillPD at our house it is the squirrels. Not cool. — Carl Seashore (@carlseashore) October 26, 2016 Several pumpkins and a 12-foot inflatable Jack-0′-Lantern were reported stolen from locations along North Estes Drive. The Boy Scout Troop on North Estes Drive also reported multiple pumpkins and two inflatables missing from the location, according to Chapel Hill Police Lieutenant Josh Mecimore.  Decorations, including several other pumpkins and an inflatable spider, were also reported stolen from...

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Police, Community Members Hold Forum to Discuss Race and Policing

Race and policing are topics that have often been discussed together in the past five years regarding inconsistencies in arrests, searches and traffic stops. Law enforcement in Orange County are already beginning a pilot program that police say is meant to push towards the end of racial profiling. But they also held a forum on “Policing, Race and Community” public to any who wanted to be there. “This is something that’s been going on for a long time,” said Orange Chatham District Attorney Jim Woodall in his remarks opening the forum. “It’s not anything new. Maybe it’s boiled to...

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Sage Road Adding Bike Lanes

Sage Road in Chapel Hill is adding bike lanes to both sides of its roadway from Erwin Road to Fordham Boulevard. The lanes are being added as part of a resurfacing and restriping project scheduled to continue through Nov. 10. The project will change Sage to a three-lane road with one vehicular travel lane in each direction, a center turn lane and buffered bike lanes. There are already sidewalks on both sides of the road. Traffic impacts are expected to be minimized during the project, with lane closures and traffic flaggers between 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. This project is part...

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Orange County Project Connect to Take Place Thursday

As of the last point-in-time count earlier this year, there were 80 people without homes in Orange County. And chances are, those people need the same types of services and resources that people with homes do. That’s what coalition members with the Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness were thinking when they created Project Connect. It’s a chance for those who are experiencing or are at risk for homelessness to stop by and get everything from a winter coat to legal advice to a haircut and makeover for job interviews. “Our goal this year is to really have quite...

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Orange County Early Voter Turn Out Up 43% Over 2012

It’s currently the fourth day of early voting in North Carolina, but through Saturday, 12% of all registered voters in Orange County had already voted. Voter turnout is already expected to be high this year. According to a study by Pew Research Center, 80% of respondents said they’ve thought a lot about the election. This is the highest amount measured in the past quarter century. Also, from that same study, 60% of people say they are more interested in this election than they were four years ago. While interest may be a reason for the spike in early voting...

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UNC Alumna Gives Five Million Dollars to Wilson Library

UNC alumna Florence Fearrington has given $5 million to the Wilson Special Collections Library. This is the largest gift ever given to a library on the UNC campus. She designated $1 million of her gift to help update the reading room in Wilson for the first time since a three-year renovation that began in 1984. It will be renamed the Fearrington Reading Room in her honor. The rest of her contribution will create the Fearrington Special Collections Library Fund, and will be used for research work and student resources. Fearrington has made previous gifts to the the UNC Library’s Rare Book Collection....

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Chapel Hill Police Department, Downtown Partnership Prepare for Halloween

The Chapel Hill Police Department is planning the yearly shut-down of Franklin Street for Homegrown Halloween, Chapel Hill’s Halloween celebration. CHPD starts planning for Halloween a year in advance. “We really start planning each year for the next Halloween November first,” said Police Chief Chris Blue. “It’s a year round event as we consider what we learned the previous year and what we can apply.” He says this year, Halloween is going to look a little bit different, especially since October 31 falls on a Monday. Because it’s an early weekday, Blue says the event will be earlier this year:...

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UNC Professor Studies Impact of Crude Oil on Ecuador Town

When most of us start our cars, turn on the lights in our house, or cook food, we don’t think about the impact thousands of miles away. That’s what UNC Assistant Professor of Geography Gabriela Valdivia was thinking when she began her project: “Living with Oil in Ecuador.” She visited coastal oil town Esmeraldas to learn about how oil can impact the daily life of everyone there. She said at first the town didn’t look different from an American industrial city or town. “It is a very modern world,” she said. “People drive cars, and they have dreams about...

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OCRCC Taking Steps to End Bullying, Harassment

Bullying can appear in many ways and in many places ranging from school to the home. But bullying also often shows itself in the form of interpersonal or sexual violence. “Several researchers who look into sexual violence prevention have proposed the theory that sexual harassment in middle school is a building block behavior that if unchecked, eventually leads to more severe forms of sexual violence later on,” said Rachel Valentine, Community Education Director for the Orange County Rape Crisis Center. She says the center has a program they teach in elementary and middle schools called SafeTouch. And they have one...

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